It is the powerful potential of the oil's aromatic molecules and the chemistry therein that exert a strong effect on the whole person
The skills and the knowledge of the Aromatherapist are paramount because the aromatic molecules found in the essential oils affect the cells of the body and each person's body is unique. Thus, the same treatment applied to different people will not always bring about the same result.
Aromatherapy primarily works in two ways, by inhalation and through topical application.
Essential oils stimulate the powerful sense of smell; as human beings, we have the capability to distinguish 10,000 different aromas. As aroma p float into the nostrils and make direct contact with the nerves, they spark off a reaction in the brain. During the inhalation of essential oils, the part of the brain connected to smell, the olfactory system, sends a signal to the limbic system of the brain which is the home of memories and emotions. Through the limbic system, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are stimulated. This causes reactions in the autonomic nervous system, affecting nerves, hormones, body temperature, appetite, thirst, digestion, insulin production, stress, repulsion and sexual arousal.
Interestingly, doctors have found that, when dealing with patients who have lost their sense of smell, a life without fragrance can lead to high incidence of psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression.
An Aromatherapist will apply the essential oils topically, and they enter the body by absorption through the skin. Massage is one of the most popular ways to enjoy aromatherapy because it stimulates all of the organs in the body, revitalises and soothes the skin, muscles, nerves and glands. It also increases blood circulation and lymph flow, which in turn assists with the clearing away of body toxins. During massage, the recipient receives the wonderful therapeutic properties of essential oils both topically and via passive inhalation.